762.94/85: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

1126. In the course of a brief conversation today I asked Delbos6 if he had any exact information with respect to the reported anti-Communist agreement between Germany and Japan. He said that he had had a long conversation with Potemkin, Soviet Ambassador, yesterday. [Page 395] Potemkin had stated that he believed there was nothing in the agreement beyond the published reports. He said that Potemkin had informed him later that further information reaching the Soviet Government indicated that the agreement had secret clauses which made it virtually an alliance directed against the Soviet Union.

We had previously been informed from a German source that the agreement had been negotiated by “Rosenberg’s7 Foreign Office” and that “von Neurath’s8 Foreign Office” had nothing to do with it. Delbos said that his information confirmed this.

In this regard it may be of interest to the Department to know that in passing through Berlin last May I had a conversation with von Neurath on the subject of the reports current at that time that Germany and Japan were engaged in negotiating an agreement to attack the Soviet Union jointly in case either should become involved in war with the Soviet Union. Neurath said that Germany had not negotiated such an agreement and would never negotiate such an agreement as it would be obviously contrary to the interests of Germany. If Germany should become involved in war with the Soviet Union Japan automatically would attack at once without any agreement. If Japan should become involved in war with the Soviet Union Germany could not possibly attack at once as the position of France, England and other European countries would have to be taken into consideration.

  1. Yvon Delbos, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Alfred Rosenberg, head of the Nazi Party foreign political organization.
  3. Constantin von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.